Sally Akins
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Sally Akins

Sarah B. “Sally” Akins is a partner at Ellis, Painter, Ratterree & Adams in Savannah. After graduating from the University of Florida and then Mercer University School of Law, Sally worked in Atlanta, Georgia, for two years before beginning her practice in Savannah in 1993.  Since her start as a judicial clerk after law school, she has been engaged exclusively in civil trial practice. She has handled cases involving premises liability, automobile, and truck accidents, professional negligence (medical, legal and pharmaceutical) litigation involving counties and municipalities including civil rights cases and zoning cases, insurance coverage litigation, and products liability. After working solely with litigation with Ellis Painter, she chose to focus on mediation, and is a registered mediator and arbitrator.

Since 2010, Law & Politics magazine has named Sally a Super Lawyer of the Georgia Bar, and The Atlanta Magazine did the same. Adding to her impressive list of approbations is her status on the Top 50 Female Super Lawyers list that she’s held since 2012. Most recently, she was named on Georgia’s list of Top 100 Super Lawyers in 2020.

Currently, besides her mediation work, Sally serves as the President of the State Bar of Georgia and is 2020’s Chair of the Georgia Board of Bar Examiners.


  • University of Florida (B.A., 1987)
  • Mercer University (J.D., 1990)

Admitted to Practice

  • All Georgia State and Superior Courts
  • Supreme Court of Georgia
  • Court of Appeals of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional or Trade Affiliations

  • President, State Bar of Georgia, 2022-2023
  • Board of Bar Examiners, 2014-present
  • President of the South East Georgia Chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), S.E. Georgia Chapter (President, 2017; Charter Member; Vice-President, 2015; Secretary, 2014; Treasurer, 2011-13)
  • Georgia Defense Lawyers Association (GDLA) (Member, Board of Directors, 2006-present; President- Elect, 2016- present; Treasurer, 2015-2016; Vice-President, 2012-2015; Editor, Georgia Defense Lawyers Association Law Journal, 2011; Vice Chair and Faculty, Trial Academy, 2012; Editor-in-Chief, Georgia Defense Lawyer, 2013-2015)
  • State Bar of Georgia (Executive Committee, General Practice & Trial Section 1995-present, Chairman 2000-2001; Member, Review Panel of State Disciplinary Board 2000-2006 and 2010-present, Chairman 2002-2003; Member, Disciplinary Rules & Procedures Committee 2005-2016; Chair – Law Practice Management Committee 2011-2012; Member, Advisory Committee on Legislation (2010-present); Member – Bench & Bar Committee (2010-present).
  • Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (President, Savannah Chapter, 1994-1996)
  • Eleventh Circuit Historical Society, Inc., Georgia Trustee
  • Savannah Bar Association (Executive Committee 1999-2000; Chairman, Public Relations Committee 2001-2002; Chairman, Public Service Committee 2005-2006)
  • American Bar Association (Georgia Delegate, Woman Advocate Committee, Litigation Section)
  • National Council of Lawyer Discipline Boards, Treasurer, 2005
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Leadership Savannah Graduate, 2006
  • Lawyers Foundation of Georgia, Fellow

Honors and Awards

  • Top 50 Female Georgia Super Lawyer (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Georgia Super Lawyer (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Georgia’s Legal Elite by Georgia Trend Magazine (2009)
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia (Eastern Judicial Circuit, Post 1, 2010 – present)
  • Appointed by Chief Judge to Local Rules Committee for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, U.S. District Court Advisory Committee for the Southern District of Georgia and to the Planning Committee for 2013 11th Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Litigation Counsel of America – Trial Lawyer Honorary Society
  • Awarded Best Newsletter by State Bar of Georgia during three year tenure as Editor-in-Chief of GDLA’s Georgia Defense Lawyer (2013, 2014, 2015)